With the start of Arizona’s state legislative session, Western Values Project (WVP) — an Accountable.US project based in Montana, defending America’s public lands — is making public their in-depth research concerning special interest monied influence on Arizona’s and other Western states’ public lands and natural resources available on their MoneyTrails website.
“One of Arizona’s most insidious groups, the Arizona Mining Association, is working hard to push extractive interests’ agenda over that of Arizona’s public lands and outdoor heritage. This report highlights their dangerous anti-public lands agenda and efforts to lift the mining withdrawal protecting the Grand Canyon,” said Jayson O’Neill, Deputy Director of Western Values Project. “With special interest influence relentlessly trying to upend public lands protections, MoneyTrails is a resource for the public, as well as decision-makers, in our continued fight to keep public lands in public hands by exposing front groups seeking to undermine our outdoor heritage for their narrow interests.”
At the forefront of extractive industry influence in Arizona is the Arizona Mining Association. The association supports the reversal and removal of Obama-era mining bans and destructive rollbacks to the Endangered Species Act. Read the Arizona Mining Association report here.
The association’s Executive Director, Steve Trussell, is a known advocate for uranium mining in northern Arizona, dangerously close to the Grand Canyon. Trussell even pushed back on thoughtful criticism concerning mineral mining around the Grand Canyon, calling attacks “disingenuous.” He has also previously defended the controversial Rosemont Copper Mine, promising it would bring about economic activity, without much evidence to back such an assertion up.
Public lands are a critical part of Arizona’s infrastructure, recreation economy, and employment rate, supporting 201,000 jobs, generating $21.2 billion in consumer spending and $1.4 billion in state and local tax revenue.
MoneyTrails highlights research on two special interest groups within Arizona. Look for more reports as the Arizona legislative session continues.
MoneyTrails was created by WVP to document the influence that special interest groups, industry executives, and anti-public lands front groups exert on public lands issues throughout the West. The taxpaying public deserves to know how these monied groups are attempting to affect public lands decisions to benefit corporations and special interests and MoneyTrails is a resource intended to shed light on these critical issues.